Astros manager Dusty Baker expressed his displeasure about fans in Oakland and Anaheim heckling the team in response to the sign-stealing scandal that unfurled before last season.
Since the pandemic forced Major League Baseball to play a truncated regular season without fans in 2020, the Astros have been the subject of relentless jeers and booing while opening the season on the road against the Athletics and Angels.
The heckling reached a fever pitch on Monday night in Anaheim when fans threw an inflatable trash can onto the warning track in right field while Jose Altuve was at-bat in the sixth inning. Later in the inning, fans tossed a real trash can onto the field which caused another stoppage in play.
“You can tell the amount of hostility and the amount of hatred in the stands,” Baker said after Houston's 7-6 loss to the Angels. “How many in the stands have never done anything wrong in their life? We paid the price for it. How many people have not cheated on a test or whatever at some point in time?
"It’s easy if you live in glass houses but I don’t think anybody lives in glass houses. I think sometimes we need to look at ourselves before we spew hate on somebody else."
General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch, now with the Tigers, were fired for their role in the scandal. Houston was also docked first- and second-round draft picks, but no players were suspended.
Stadiums across the country are starting to open at limited capacity—the Rangers had a sellout in Arlington, Texas yesterday—meaning the heckling may just be beginning for the Astros.
“It’s a sad situation for America to me. When you hear things, what are the kids supposed to think in the stands? And some of them are kids. They’re following their parents. It’s sad, to me. People make mistakes and we’ve paid for ours and I wish they'd leave it alone."